Monday, July 16, 2012

Decks in bloom

When we lived in the Blue House, we had a super large deck - it was awesome. The deck was off the kitchen and we used it all the time. We were super spoiled at the Blue House; we had three eating areas in good weather: the kitchen, the dining room, and the deck.

I loved it. Okay fine, I loved the whole Blue House.

ugly deck

But the deck. The first summer we were in the house, I knew I had to do something with it but I had no idea where to start. My friend Chandra gave me an early birthday gift of plants and planting materials and we spent a very pleasant day making the deck look beautiful.

here it is...the long promised patio furniture

The deck became a central part of our life that summer. It was home to a big table with an umbrella, a bunch of solar powered lights (there was no power on the deck), an awesome park bench and our bbq. We played board games out there. We ate our meals out there.

sushi with edna and hiromi

We often had friends over for meals and of course we ate out there. We had birthday cake for breakfast out there.

mmm cupcakes

We had parties out there, lots of deck parties. We had birthday parties out there, more than once.


We had an upstairs neighbour and a downstairs neighbour in the Blue House and they both had their own small-space gardens. Water our respective gardens became part of our evening rituals. After the sun had set, the crows had flown home to Burnabye and I had taken down the ugly sheets on the kitchen windows (I finally made and hung the curtains before the second summer) and opened the windows and doors in the house to cool it off, I'd head to the deck to water my plants.

from below

Around the same time K and R would both be out doing theirs. We liked our neighbours and we saw them often and this became a time, just before bed, for the three of us to exchange pleasantries and stories. By that second summer, K was preparing to move out and R and I were on tenterhooks because we didn't know when/if the house was going to be sold and we'd be looking for another place to live. The second summer I pretty much only had volunteers and herbs. I didn't want to leave much behind if we did end up leaving. And the deck had started to rot. K probably would have replaced it for us, but she no longer owned the house and the new landlords were...difficult.

Moving into a condo was a huge adjustment for us. We downsized tremendously. Our outside space shrunk. We lived in close proximity to a whole bunch of people, not just our beloved neighbours K and R. Oh and we had a brand new baby.

But I still wished for a garden and a green space and some plants. And this year, I finally figured it out. It's not as spacious as the Blue House. There's no grass. I can barely fit a kitchen chair out there, so it's not exactly a comfortable place to eat or read or do much of anything. But it's ours. And it's pretty.

in her garden

And J is so excited about it...and that makes it 100% worth it! Oh, and I'm excited to what the plants will produce...looks like lots of strawberries and herbs, a few tomatoes and some beans...which is way more than we've ever had before!


  1. I am jealous! I have the space but not the talent. I really want to grow some mint.

    1. Do it! Mint is easy to grow - it's like a weed. You could easily grow some in a pot or on your window ledge too. I garden by trial and error - the little tags tell you where to plant and when to water...I bet your girls would love it. Start small - beans, tomatoes, maybe cucumbers or melons. Unless the weather is horrible, those usually grow quite well and the girls will be able to see it happening. You can get plants that are already started (that's what we did) - they're a bit more - but I think the tomato was less than $10.